Don’t let summer break dull student reading skills

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Teachers at Norwood Elementary in West Jefferson are promoting a summer reading program with a “Guess Who’s Reading This Summer?” game. Teachers will read with students at special sessions over the summer at Greentree Mobile Home Park and Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library.
Teachers at Norwood Elementary in West Jefferson are promoting a summer reading program with a “Guess Who’s Reading This Summer?” game. Teachers will read with students at special sessions over the summer at Greentree Mobile Home Park and Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library.

(Posted May 12, 2016)

By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer

Nine months of progress in reading skills can easily diminish by the end of summer vacation, but Norwood Elementary instructors, staff and administrators are hoping to turn the tide with their summer reading program.

Events, library visits, prizes, food and an outreach site at Greentree Mobile Home Park are all part of the endeavor to keep skill level and interest up over the nearly three-month break.

“The summer reading program is important so Norwood Elementary students keep reading all summer and don’t lose reading skills over the summer,” said teacher Tami Hill.

This is the first year for the pop-up reading programs at Greentree and the visits to the library in conjunction with their Steampunk Library Summer Reading program.

Teachers, staff and administrators are volunteering to read with students at the mobile home park, 9120 W. Broad St. in Galloway, on six Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. during June and July and at Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library, 270 Lilly Chapel Road, West Jefferson, on four Fridays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

“We are also providing meals for the students during the program,” continued Hill, noting the targeted audience is students currently in preschool through fifth grade.

Flyer’s Pizza, McDonald’s West Jefferson, the Charles Family, and Pat’s Pizza donated food for the pop-up reading portion at the mobile home park on June 8, June 15, June 22, June 29, July 20 and July 27.

Teachers will also be at Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library on June 10, June 17, July 22 and July 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in conjunction with library programs from 10:30 a.m. to noon related to a Columbus Zoo visit on June 10; COSI visit on June 17; reptile program on July 22, and a Weird Science program on July 29.

The library will provide a pizza lunch on program days at noon. Teachers will be available to assist students in selecting grade-level books and discuss the texts. Students also are encouraged to participate in the library’s summer reading program, June 3-July 30.

Students in the Title reading program will receive two free books at the end of the school year, and Title teachers will mail three letters to each student over the summer to encourage them to keep reading.

Teachers also are emailing parents to encourage them to read with their children during the summer break.

When asked how parents can help their children retain reading skills, Hill said, “Take their students to Greentree pop-up reading programs and sign their children up for the Steampunk Summer Reading Program at the (library). Read with their children every day for 15 minutes. Make reading fun and provide books that students enjoy by visiting the library.”

Teachers who are reading with the students at Greentree and the library are currently promoting the program on morning video announcements in a game, “Guess Who’s Reading this Summer,” with clues to get students interested in the program.

According to Hill, if students read 12 hours over the summer and complete the library reading program, they will be invited to attend a free pool party on July 30.  Students who read more than 12 hours will be eligible to earn prizes at the library. Norwood students who bring in a summer reading log and present it to their new teacher in the fall will be rewarded again at school.

Norwood Elementary is part of the Jefferson Local School District.

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